Errol Spence to make first world title defense against former champion Lamont Peterson on Jan. 20 at Barclays Center

It has been known since October that IBF welterweight world titleholder Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Lamont Peterson were going to fight on Jan. 20. Now, they know where they will be slugging it out.

They will meet at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in the main event of a Showtime-televised card (9 p.m. ET), promoters Lou DiBella and Tom Brown announced Tuesday.

“I'm pleased to be promoting Spence vs. Peterson, one of the very best matchups in the welterweight division and in all of boxing,” DiBella said in a news release. “Spence is not only one of the best welterweights in the world, but one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing. In Peterson, he faces another elite welterweight and a two-time world champion. Spence vs. Peterson will bring the heat to Barclays Center on a chilly Jan. 20.”

Spence (22-0, 19 KO’s), a southpaw from Desoto, Texas, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, who turns 28 a week before he makes his first defense of his 147-pound world title, only fought once in 2017. However, it was an impressive bout none the less. He defeated former titlist Kell Brook in his hometown of Sheffield, England, and broke his left orbital bone en-route to an 11th-round TKO in his toughest test to date.

Many ringside observers had the fight dead even until Spence beat Brook into submission.

“My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test, and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook," Spence, said. “I sparred him in the amateurs, and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals, and that is what I plan on doing.”

Spence has said recently that he eventually wants to move up to 154 pounds and challenge Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a big money showdown.

Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO’s), of Memphis, Tennessee, who turns 34 on Jan. 24, is coming on an 11-month layoff when he defeated David Avanesyan by unanimous decision in February 2017 to win the WBA “Regular” welterweight world title. However, he vacated the belt in October to fight Spence.

Peterson is also a former junior welterweight titleholder but is very experienced. He scored a controversial split decision victory over Amir Khan in December 2011 to claim the IBF and WBA titles and made one defense of the IBF belt before getting stopped in three rounds by Lucas Matthysse in May 2013. He has also squared off against the likes of Timothy Bradley, Danny Garcia, and Felix Diaz.

“First off, I'm happy to be getting back in the ring,” Peterson said. “I've stayed in the gym, and I'm ready to go. This is a fight I wanted, and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see. I'm ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show.”

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